Although most don’t speak of it, early pregnancy loss is relatively common. Early pregnancy loss or miscarriage is a term for any loss earlier than 20 weeks of pregnancy. The majority of loss occurs within the first trimester or prior to 13 weeks gestation. Studies have shown that the rate of miscarriage is as high as 15%-20% of all pregnancies.
If you or someone you know has experienced a miscarriage, you are probably aware of how emotionally difficult it can be. However, there are ways to cope with this loss so you can grieve and continue on with life and starting a family.
Call Your OBGYN
If you have bleeding or unexpected pain in pregnancy, call your OBGYN. It is crucially important to address it and determine the cause. Your doctor will likely recommend an initial ultrasound and blood work if you have not yet confirmed your pregnancy.
Know That You Are Not Alone.
Thousands of women experience miscarriages every year. Mainstream media has created an open forum for pregnancy loss and celebrities like Chrissy Teigen have been very open about their personal experience with loss.
While knowing you are one of many doesn’t make it easier, it may provide some comfort to you and your partner to realize others are grieving a similar loss. Keep in mind that your partner will grieve this loss, too. However, their experience may be different than yours. Go easy on yourself and each other. You have both lost something and must grieve it in your own ways.
Be Aware of Your Mental State.
The effects of grief following a loss can present as psychological and physical symptoms. Sadness, anger, and confusion can follow the loss, and it may come up at unexpected times. They say time heals all wounds, but grief does not follow a linear path. Do not ignore symptoms that affect your ability to function. For example, if you are too tired and depressed to do daily activities or take care of your basic needs for days at a time, contact your doctor. Consider seeking support through counseling or online support groups for pregnancy and infant loss.
Make Self Care a Priority.
Self-care is something many women put aside, but it’s incredibly important when you’re grieving a miscarriage. You’ve been through a lot. Give yourself the time you need to heal your body and emotions by taking time for yourself. That could include taking time off from work or spending time with a friend. Other self-care activities include getting a facial, writing in your journal, reading, and crafting. Take time to rest when you need it so you can return to your regular activities when you are ready.
If your sister brings you dinner, accept it with gratitude. If you need company, call a friend who has reached out to you in the past. Reconnect with people at your own pace, but allow kindness to help you heal your heart.
Your doctor at West Des Moines OB-GYN can help guide you to organizations that help families through the difficulties of miscarriage and the loss of a child. The March of Dimes organization has a long history of helping families have healthy babies. Their website also addresses the complications and loss of a pregnancy. Please reach out to your ob-gyn if you are having difficulty coping with a miscarriage.